Taking Stock: Top 9 Carroll Successes in 2022

Taking Stock: Top 9 Carroll Successes in 2022
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog


Every chance they get, Carroll educators celebrate student victories, big and small. By doing so, they foster joy not simply in what was accomplished, but in all the learning that is yet to come. Following their lead, and in the spirit of year-end reflection, I’ve created my own highlight reel of successes and sources of pride—in no particular order—from 2022. It feels important to pause and take stock of the tremendously meaningful work we engage in at Carroll. What’s more, writing it down has made me even more excited for all that lies ahead in 2023!

1. Our focus on student strengths 

I may have taken special notice of this phenomenon last year—it was, after all, the first full year of face-to-face, in-person engagement since the arrival of COVID—but I was struck by it nonetheless: There are 200 adults in our Carroll community, and every single one is exceptionally focused not on the challenges our students must overcome, but on the strengths they already possess. This asset-based mindset is not something that can be taught in school; it’s the remarkably natural, default orientation of our educators. And it is amazing to watch how it transfers to our students, helping them to grow in confidence, believe in their abilities, and flourish.  

2. Our alumni

Last June, 108 students graduated from Carroll, bound for over 90 different secondary schools. From independent day and boarding schools to public, charter, technical, and parochial schools, students’ post-Carroll journeys are increasingly rich and varied, and testament to our success preparing kids for the next, best-fit step in their education. And happily, they are eager to come back and visit! In 2022, for the first time since the pandemic began, alumni returned to our campuses to share their experiences with students, parents, and educators. 

3. Our graduate teaching program

2022 marked the 19th year of The Angela Wilkins Program of Graduate Studies in Education, a partnership with Lesley University. Not only have we hosted and helped to train more than 120 graduate interns to work effectively with students struggling with language-based learning differences, students and teachers alike have learned a great deal from their fresh perspective in our classrooms. Last spring, we were proud to graduate our second cohort of teachers from The Fellowship for Teachers of Color, a scholarship program funded by generous Carroll School donors.

4. Our partnerships

Perhaps you've already read about our partnership with Rigamajig and how our educators are using it to build STEM, language, and critical thinking skills with our 4th graders. We are excited to see how this partnership expands and grows in the year ahead. In more partnership news, our participation in dynamic research projects with Dr. John Gabrieli’s neuroimaging lab at MIT as well as with Stanford University’s Reading & Dyslexia Research Program is extending Carroll’s impact well beyond the classroom by helping the field better understand dyslexia and the brain. 

5. Our self-study and reaccreditation

As part of our 10-year reaccreditation process with the AISNE (Association of Independent Schools in New England), we launched a rigorous self-study last year, a formal opportunity to honestly examine our efforts—across departments and disciplines—to deliver on our mission. A Visiting Team comes to our campuses in the fall, and we look forward to learning and growing as a community based on their feedback. 

6. Our Annual Fund

The Carroll Annual Fund hit record highs last year—over $1.5 million—surpassing our goal. In part, it supports the $3.4 million we offered in financial assistance to 25% of our families. 

7. Our after-school programs

Speaking of record numbers, more Carroll students than ever demonstrated interest in our athletics, arts, and other extracurricular programming last year, from interscholastic sports teams to after-school art, supervised study, explorations in Bounders Woods, and our Friday programming. Our students gravitate to this important downtime with each other and their teachers.

8. Our commitment to professional development

Eighty hours—that’s the commitment each and every Carroll educator made to their own professional development over the course of the last school year. In fact, they commit 80 hours every school year. It reflects their commitment to lifelong learning and to the cutting-edge pedagogy, practice, and methods that give each child what they most need to thrive. 

9. Our commitment to belonging

Our mission statement, which we revised in 2021, pushes us to embrace the diverse strengths, identities, and lived experiences of everyone in our school community. Last year more than ever, we witnessed the extent to which acknowledging and celebrating these differences helps us to grow our community of belonging. At Carroll, by just being you, you belong.



Recent Posts

9 Carroll Successes in 2022
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Every chance they get, Carroll educators celebrate student victories, big and small. By doing so, they foster joy not simply in what was accomplished, but in all the learning that is yet to come. Following their lead, and in the spirit of year-end reflection, I’ve created my own highlight reel of successes and sources of pride—in no particular order—from 2022. It feels important to pause and take stock of the tremendously meaningful work we engage in at Carroll. What’s more, writing it down has made me even more excited for all that lies ahead in 2023!

The Upside of Struggle
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

The first time I heard the phrase “productive struggle” was in graduate school. I was in a math methods course, slogging through some pretty tough concepts. My professor was doing her best to encourage us, reassuring us that floundering, muddling through, and making mistakes were hardly signs of failure. In fact, in these very lurching efforts were the seeds of profound learning. Little did I know, more than two decades later, the notion of productive struggle would be foundational to my work, and to the work of all Carroll educators.

Dyslexia 1 in 5 students
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Last month, Massachusetts passed a momentous and long-awaited piece of legislation requiring schools to screen young students for dyslexia and other learning differences at least twice a year. Beginning on July 1, 2023, this right-to-read legislation will combat an entrenched wait-to-fail approach in the state’s public schools. Why should this matter to the Carroll community?

Starting a New School: All the Feels and Belonging
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

As we launch the school year, it brings all the feels. And all the feels are welcome - from our students, their families, and all the committed adults that work at Carroll. As I met with new families last week, I named some of the different feelings and emotions that may accompany joining the Carroll School community.

Reopening School during a Global Pandemic
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

Every family with school aged children is in a tough spot this fall. How to get back to school is nothing but a large basket full of hard decisions. In this blog, I write about what we share as a community as we look forward to Carroll School’s reopening.

GECCO: Give Each Child Carroll Online
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

Carroll School declares that our job is to give each child what that child most needs. It doesn’t matter whether we are forced to social distance or whether we are in person. That is our job. A remote plan that failed to focus on this principle would never work properly for the Carroll community. Steve Wilkins shares how we approach this task.

Dyslexia Education: Strengths-Based or Remedial
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

Educational philosophies about children with dyslexia can seem in conflict at times. Is dyslexia a curse or a gift? In this blog, I will attempt to reconcile two seemingly opposed views of dyslexia. One supports the notion that dyslexics have special talents that are simply better than those of typical learners. The other view pursues the notion of neuroplasticity and a more complete remediation of that which underlies the challenges of dyslexia.

Teaching Kids about the Brain and Neuroscience
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

The fourth grade at Carroll has made a deep commitment to learning about how the human brain functions. Yes, you heard it right. Fourth grade. Nine and Ten year olds. Teacher Jamie Matthews and her fourth grade colleagues are dedicated to this work. Why is it important to teach young kids about neuroscience and how their brain works? Read on.